Met’s Klinghoffer simulcast cancelled due to… what exactly?

I’m not much into news items, but some things bug me. Like being told what I am allowed to watch and what I am not.

The Met stages Adams’ Death of Klinghoffer but cancels simulcast. The reason? Err, it’s not clear why.

The Guardian reports: “I’m convinced that the opera is not anti-semitic,” said Peter Gelb, general manager for the Met, So it’s not anti-semitic, then what’s the problem? “but I’ve also become convinced that there is genuine concern in the international Jewish community that the live transmission of The Death of Klinghoffer would be inappropriate at this time of rising anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe.”

Nevermind that the original production is from ENO. I thought the European far right was more concerned these days with Muslims and Eastern Europeans. Yet things like Rinaldo, Orlando, Armida and the other operas set during the times of the Crusades don’t get blamed for the actions of extremists – because it would be silly and people know it. How about Prince Igor, eh? – which the Met also recently staged.

The NY Times quotes the ADL leader: “Serious concerns remain about this opera, and we are aware that this decision will not satisfy all of the Met’s critics,” Mr. Foxman said in a statement. What serious concerns? If they are so up in arms about the opera that they feel the need to censor it, then they should speak up. “Yet it does ensure that the opera will have far less of an impact beyond the walls of the opera house at Lincoln Center.”

What kind of dangerous impact can the opera have? And why? If I see a character being victimised on stage – which is the case with this opera and pretty much all other operas – am I going to start victimising others? I take that as an insult to my intelligence and morality.

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About dehggial

opera lover with a predilection for Mozart and Baroque

Posted on June 18, 2014, in contemporary operas, historical timeline, lists, rants & occasional humour, rants and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Gelb’s “logic” of course is nonsense so what really is going on? I suspect it’s really about money. One suspects that the Met’s donor base contains more than a few rich extremist Jews or other ultra Israel supporters and probably remarkably few pro-Palestinians. Like everything else in the US where Israel and the Palestinians are concerned money talks. The opportunity to deflect public attention from the size of his salary may also have been a factor.

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    • Do donors know about a season’s schedule ahead of time? If they do, why program the opera for simulcast if your donors are likely to get up in arms about it? If they don’t, I wonder if this was an attempt to milk more money out of the donors by “doing them a favour”…

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      • It is odd. Gelb must have known that he’d get exactly the reaction he got from the ADL. It was bound to happen. So, why take the rather brave decision to stage/broadcast DoK then, when the inevitable happens, back down? It just makes him look clueless at a time when he can least afford that.

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